ADB Consults Indonesia for Review of Public Communications Policy to Ensure Effectiveness and Transparency

JAKARTA, INDONESIA - The Asian Development Bank (ADB) is holding consultations in Indonesia this week to get feedback on its Public Communications Policy - the latest in a series of similar workshops in 12 ADB member countries.

Consultations on the review will be held on 27 to 29 July, 2010, with ADB staff meeting various stakeholders including government officials, civil society groups, people affected by ADB assisted projects, and the private sector.

The ultimate goal of the consultation process is to give all interested parties, including civil society organizations and people affected by ADB assisted projects, the opportunity to review and comment on the first consultation draft of the Public Communications Policy.

"ADB has been encouraging participation of civil society groups and requesting nomination of participants for this week’s consultation. We look forward to their contributions and recommendations on how to improve the Policy." said Delphine Roch, Public Information and Disclosure Specialist in ADB’s Department of External Relations.

"ADB will also meet with people affected by ADB assisted projects in Banda Aceh to ensure that they can voice their opinion.  These are the people we are working for, and it is important we hear from them directly," said Ms. Roch.

The current policy, which took effect in September 2005, guides ADB’s external relations strategy and its stance on disclosure of information, with the aim of ensuring that its work is widely known and understood. The Policy recognizes that transparency is critical to the effectiveness, sustainability and accountability of ADB operations, and for building the trust and support of stakeholders. Reviewing the policy every five years is a mandatory requirement, and the current review began in February 2010.

"One benefit of making information about ADB-financed projects more readily available is that it encourages feedback from local communities, and this feedback can improve project quality and effectiveness. As a public development institution, we have a responsibility to keep the public informed about our work," said Bob Finlayson, Officer-in-Charge of ADB’s Indonesia Resident Mission.

To support the ongoing consultation process, ADB has developed a special policy review page on its website. Summaries of the discussions with stakeholders in Jakarta and Banda Aceh will be uploaded on the ADB website, along with other country consultation summaries. Comments on the first consultation draft can still be received from interested parties until 2 August 2010. A further round of public comments will be sought in October, with final approval of the revised policy expected by February 2011.